LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Colleen Kalagher-Travaglio

Position: Third Grade Teacher
School: Walter J. Paton Elementary School
School District: Shrewsbury Public Schools
City, State: Shrewsbury, MA

Support Colleen

Colleen Kalagher-Travaglio was nominated by a former student who wishes to remain anonymous.

No matter our age, we always seem to remember our favorite teacher. The one who stood out from the rest, who inspired us, who pushed us to be our best, and most importantly, the teacher who has made a profound impact on our lives. For one student, this teacher was Mrs. Kalagher-Travaglio.

"Having now graduated from college, I am so grateful for the impact she has had on my education throughout the years," the nominator said. "She is an unbelievable educator and deserves to be recognized as a LifeChanger."

Mrs. Kalagher-Travaglio is someone who goes the extra mile for her students and their families. She has a great sense of humor and understands early adolescence. She has a unique way of connecting with students and instills confidence in their abilities to learn and grow.

"My brother and I were both lucky enough to have her as our third grade teacher, and we still consider her our favorite teacher, even after all these years," the nominator said.

Patience is an extremely important quality to have as an educator because everyone learns at different speeds. Mrs. Kalagher-Travaglio has the philosophy that what may work for one student doesn't always work for another. She takes the time to understand each student’s individual needs, and incorporates them into her lessons.

"As someone who struggled in school myself, I know how much of a difference an accommodating teacher can make. It didn't matter to her how much time it took for the light bulb to go on, it mattered that the student understood the material. She is patient, understanding, and encouraging; three things that every teacher should be," the nominator said

Mrs. Kalagher-Travaglio is actively involved in her school and community, where she participates in a number of school activities, and even dresses up with students during spirit weeks. In 2011, she was a recipient of the John P Collins Award for excellence in education. It's awarded to educators who exemplify the highest standard of professionalism and dedication to lifelong learning. She breathes life into education through her enthusiasm for teaching, and her outgoing personality creates an exciting learning environment that engages all students. Her positive attitude is contagious, and her smile lights up a room.

"Not only is Mrs. Kalagher-Travaglio a LifeChanger to me, but she is a LifeChanger to so many other students that she has mentored over the years," the nominator said.


Colleen Kalagher-Travaglio in the News:
Paton Elementary School teacher Colleen Kalagher-Travaglio nominated for LifeChanger award by former student
Paton School Educator Nominated for LifeChanger of the Year Award

Comments (4)

Wendy Bell Posted over a year ago

Colleen and I have traveled an unusual, yet fulfilling journey together. She began as my mentor when I entered the teaching profession 18 years ago. She taught me many things, but the one lesson that I will never forget is that it isn't the academics that third graders will remember, but how you made them feel. Several years later, she and I both moved to fourth grade and implemented a teaching model where we moved almost fifty students flexibly between our two rooms. The two years we spent together in fourth grade were the most satisfying of my career. We made so many wonderful memories for our students together. Not long after, I became the new principal of our small school. Being Colleen's administrator has allowed me to observe her talent at an even deeper level. We still enjoy sharing best practices, supporting students together, and what is most amazing to me is that Colleen is willing to humbly take direction and recommendations from me. Colleen is a life long learner, one of the most passionate educators I have ever met, and truly enjoys every moment that she spends with her students. She has the ability to make even the most reluctant students love coming to school. This nomination is one child's account of how she changed a life, but honestly, there are hundreds more children who could attest that Colleen is a LifeChanger!

Christina Manos Posted over a year ago

Both my children were lucky enough to be part of Kal's Krew, and I worked for a few blissful years with Colleen too. They don't come any better!! She is one of those teachers whom you never forget, and whose life lessons stay with you forever. We still quote her at our house.

julianne diwd Posted over a year ago

Mrs KT- One of the very best. Her strength based approach has worked miracles for many children including my own. She fosters indeoendence and responsibility in children through encouragement and praise. Few are like her, Thankyou Mrs. K-T. P.S. Her dad is pretty amazing too

Colleen Kalagher-Travaglio Posted over a year ago

I am beyond humbled by this nomination! I am truly grateful to have a profession that brings me joy, to be challenged and so much love!